ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday rejected PTI and PAT’s demand for him to resign, saying that it would lead the country towards another crisis, according to Radio Pakistan.
During a meeting with senior journalists in Islamabad, the premier said, “Nobody in the country supports the illegal and extra-constitutional agenda of two political groups [PTI and PAT].”
Further, the premier claimed that 11 of 12 political parties in Parliament are supporting the government.
“Today all political forces are on the same page and the government will fully respect the mandate of the people.”
Refuting earlier allegations of PTI chairman Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri that the government was planning to crackdown on their workers, Nawaz ruled out the possibility of the use of force against the protesters.
Nawaz reiterated that the government wants to resolve the current political crisis through dialogue.
“The country cannot afford the current situation as the crisis can harm the country.”
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and six other federal ministers were also present during the meeting.
Later on during the day, Shahbaz Sharif said that Nawaz Sharif resigning is out of the question and so is holding midterm elections.
Nawaz to address NA on Friday
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will make a speech in the National Assembly on Friday, an official statement said.
Press Information Department (PID) in a statement said Prime Minister will address National Assembly around 12 noon.
The Premier, who has been regularly attending the national assembly during the ongoing session, was expected to make a speech on Thursday, however the government opted to wait for a resolution in favour of the government to be passed by the House first.
Govt will avoid use of force
Talking to Express News, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said that the government will avoid the use of force against protesters. “Not just the people watching the protests but the protesters themselves are getting tired of this situation,” he added.
He agreed that the situation should be resolved as soon as possible, since protests are negatively impacting the country’s economy. He expressed hope that the negotiations will be successful.
Asif added that the government has no intention to launch crackdown on the participants of the sit-ins or to arrest Imran Khan.
Referring to Qadri’s statements about 25,000 PAT workers under police custody, Asif said that any person arrested under false charges will be released immediately once a list of such individuals is produced.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Thursday afternoon said that no political party supports the demand for the prime minister’s resignation through long marches and pressure tactics.
The information minister said that positive results are expected of the dialogue process, adding that the PML-N has a clear stand that it will not accept unconstitutional demand of Prime Minister's resignation.
He said that the PML-N will not accept the unconstitutional demand of the prime minister's resignation.
To a question, he said the armed forces are playing their role while remaining within the ambit of the constitution.